Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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Gone With the Wind (1939)

In the Best Picture-winning Civil War dramatic romance-epic by director Victor Fleming:

  • the image of the beautiful Tara plantation
  • the sequence of the BBQ at Twelve Oaks
  • the first view of roguish Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) at the foot of the stairs
  • the announcement of war
  • the crowds reading the casualty lists in the aftermath of Gettysburg
  • the ever-fascinating and fiery Rhett & Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) relationship, including their first meeting in the library when Scarlett throws a vase at the fireplace mantle - and Rhett emerges (Scarlett: "Sir, you are no gentleman," with Rhett's retort: "And you, miss, are no lady")
  • the character of Scarlett's black-maid Mammy (Oscar-winning Hattie McDaniel) with her oft-said: "It ain't fittin'"
  • the Atlanta charity ball scene in which Rhett dances with a black-dressed "mourning" Scarlett
  • the slow-moving pull-back crane shot from Scarlett walking through Atlanta's "hospital" at the train station revealing thousands of wounded/dying Confederate soldiers - in the final panoramic image she is lost in a sea of human suffering as the Confederate flag comes into view
  • the siege and burning of Atlanta scene
  • Rhett's forceful kiss of Scarlett: "You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how"
  • Prissy's (Butterfly McQueen) hysterical whining: "I don't know nothin' about birthin' babies"
  • Scarlett vowing in a barren field: "I'll never be hungry again!" after vomiting from eating a dug-up radish root vegetable
  • Scarlett's encounter with a Union deserter on the staircase
  • the image of Scarlett wearing a green velvet gown sewn from the living room drapes
  • the scene of Mammy telling Melanie (Olivia de Havilland) that Rhett has killed young Bonnie's pony after the tragic accident
  • the conjugal rape scene of Rhett asserting his will and carrying headstrong wife Scarlett up the stairs and threatening: "This is one night you're not turning me out"
  • Scarlett's headlong fall down the staircase
  • Melanie's death-bed scene making Scarlett promise to take care of Ashley (Leslie Howard)
  • Rhett's troublesome closing line after the treacherous Scarlett has asked: "What about Tara? What about me?" - "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"
  • Scarlett's tearful resilience in the famous last line: "After all, tomorrow is another day!"






The Good Earth (1937)

In Sidney Franklin's dramatic epic:

  • the scene of O-Lan (Luise Rainer) kneeling down and picking up his discarded peach pit and saying to peasant farmer Wang Lung (Paul Muni): "A tree will grow from this seed" - and later her planting of the seed
  • the scenes of the drought and famine
  • the terrifying revolutionary mob scene in which the palace "Great House" is ransacked/looted and pregnant O-Lan's stomach is stepped on during the mad rush
  • the amazing, brilliantly-photographed battle against the locust plague and invasion devastating the crops and farms
  • O'Lan's poignant deathbed scene in the film's ending when Wang Lung gives her two pearls ("You are the best a man can have") - and as she dies - the two pearls roll from her outstretched hand
  • the delivery of the film's final lines at the final fade-out - his words next to the peach tree outside ("O-Lan, you are the earth")




Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

In Sam Wood's classic drama:

  • the scene of schoolmaster Mr. Charles "Chips" Chipping (Oscar-winning Robert Donat), alone and unseen on the balcony, hearing Katherine (Greer Garson) say: "I'm sorry for shy people. They must be awful lonely sometimes"
  • the scene of their goodbye at the train station when Katherine shakes Chips' hand and kisses him goodbye as she utters the film's title: "Goodbye, Mr. Chips"
  • the scene after Katherine's death (in childbirth) when the dazed Chips goes to his classroom and sits stoically while listening to a student recite a Latin lesson
  • Chips' retirement ceremony scene
  • the tearful deathbed scene and conclusion in which Chips counters the statement that he never had children: "But you're wrong...I have...thousands of them...thousands of them...and all boys!" - and then he closes his eyes while smiling, as the camera rose up when he passes on - he dreamily remembers many schoolboys filing past to repeat their names at call-over, while the music of the school song swells in volume in the background



The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

In the final installment of Sergio Leone's violent, spaghetti western trilogy:

  • the introduction of Tuco "the Ugly" (Eli Wallach), Setenza "the Bad" (Lee Van Cleef), and Joe "the Good" - also known as "Blondie" (Clint Eastwood) in the opening scenes
  • the scene in which Setenza has ordered a band of Confederate prisoners/musicians to play in order to drown out the screams of his tortured victims
  • the Civil War battle for the bridge and its explosive detonation
  • the touching and compassionate moment that Joe covers a dying soldier with his own duster and offers a cigarette for a final smoke
  • the climactic, excessive scene of a showdown between the three ruthless, gunfighting drifters Joe, Setenza, and Tuco in a vast cemetery - enhanced by Ennio Morricone's score and detailed closeups

GoodFellas (1990)

In Martin Scorsese's crime mob-underworld classic:

  • the gory sequence (in the film's opening and later) in which Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) and Jimmy 'the Gent' Conway (Robert DeNiro) sadistically kill old-time mafioso Billy Batts in a car's trunk
  • their stop-over at Tommy's house to get a knife and shovel (and his mother's acceptance of his ludicrous explanation for his bloody shirt during a midnight pasta dinner)
  • the tense/comical scene in the Bamboo Lounge in which the loud-mouthed, volatile Tommy takes offense at a laughing, wise-guy Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and menacingly asks: "What do you mean, I'm funny? Funny how? How'm I funny?"
  • the long, 3-minute, unedited, Steadicam tracking shot of an overwhelmed Karen (Lorraine Bracco) and Henry entering the Copacabana nightclub through the back entrance
  • the scene of Henry beating a guy's face with the butt of his gun after an unwelcome pass - and Karen's turned-on response (in voice-over) to his violent defense of her: "I got to admit the truth. It turned me on"
  • Tommy's cold-blooded murder of bar-boy Spider during a card game
  • the scene with a discussion about great prison dinners
  • the scene in which Karen straddles an awakening Henry with a pistol pointed at his head
  • the scene of Tommy's induction into the Mafia - when he is shockingly shot in the back of the head
  • the jump-cut, frenetic sequence of a paranoid, cocaine-addicted, hallucinating Henry preparing a meal and delivering drugs while being tracked by a helicopter
  • the final image of Henry - now suburbanized after being inducted into the Witness Protection Program
  • the homage to The Great Train Robbery (1903), with Tommy shooting six shots directly into the camera (and at Henry, in his mind)





Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

In director Barry Levinson's comedy war drama:

  • the manic, partly ad-libbed and improvised broadcasts of mid-1960s, Vietnam-era Armed Forces Radio DJ Adrian Cronauer (Oscar-nominated Robin Williams) - beginning with his salutation in his debut show before a barrage of non-stop humor: "Gooooooood Mor-ning, Viet-naaaaaam! Hey, this is not a test! This is rock and roll. Time to rock it from the Delta to the DMZ..."
  • and during his first break - his off-mike question to his assistant Edward Garlick (Forest Whitaker): "Too much?"

Good Will Hunting (1997)

In director Gus Van Sant's coming-of-age drama:

  • the scene of the second meeting between South Boston psychologist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) and 20 year-old troubled, but intelligent genius and MIT janitor Will Hunting (Matt Damon) at Boston Common overlooking swan boats on the pond
  • Maguire's speaking of his own life's experiences, and his statement to Will: "You're just a boy. You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about...I don't see a peer, and I don't see my equal. I see a boy..."

The Graduate (1967)

In Mike Nichols' classic 60's generation-gap comedy:

  • the opening credits with young and recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) on a plane 'descending' into LA - and then on an airport conveyor belt
  • the memorable Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack
  • the famous one-word line of advice at a celebratory party held by his materialistic parents: "Plastics...there's a great future in plastics"
  • the scene of the lecherous, close family friend Mrs. Robinson's (Anne Bancroft) brazen seduction of a bewildered Benjamin as she perches with her legs spread on a bar stool in her home (with the camera shooting under her upraised leg) - and his befuddled reply-question: "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me! - Aren't you?"
  • Mrs. Robinson's further seduction upstairs by appearing topless - first reflected on the picture glass of daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross)
  • the image of Benjamin submerged in his parents' swimming pool with scuba gear to escape from everything
  • Benjamin's nervous first-time check-in at the hotel for the affair and the seduction scene in the hotel room
  • the jump-cut of Benjamin diving up onto a inflatable rubber pool raft and landing on top of Mrs. Robinson in bed (and another jump cut with his father asking: "Ben, what are you doing?" - with his response that he is "drifting"
  • the shocking revelation to Benjamin's girlfriend Elaine that Benjamin is sleeping with her mother
  • Benjamin's mad rush (running at an extreme depth of focus camera, making him appear to be running in place) to stop Elaine's wedding and rescue her
  • Benjamin at the church's choir loft window raising his hand up and repeatedly banging on the glass and crying out: "Elaine!"
  • his securing the church door with a large cross
  • the final lingering shot of them in the back seat of a yellow municipal bus riding into an unknown future







Grand Hotel (1932)

In Edmund Goulding's Best Picture-winning melodramatic ensemble film, featuring all of the stars of Hollywood's Golden Age:

  • the setting of a ritzy Berlin hotel
  • the characters including a young stenographer Flaemmchen (Joan Crawford) and ballerina Grusinskaya (Greta Garbo) - both being seduced by Baron Felix (John Barrymore)
  • Garbo's immortal lines - she actually asks to be alone two different times: "But I want to be alone" to John Barrymore's character (who asks her: "Please let me stay"), and "I just want to be alone" to a group of others
  • the film's final line voiced in the lobby by physician Dr. Otternschlag (Lewis Stone), who never received messages at the desk nor noticed the multi-charactered dramas in the hotel and how lives were changed: "The Grand Hotel. Always the same. People come. People go...nothing ever happens"



Grand Illusion (1937, Fr.) (aka La Grande Illusion)

In Jean Renoir's Nazi-banned, anti-war masterpiece, the first foreign film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture:

  • the scene of aristocratic, stern Prussian officer Capt. von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim) inviting his WWI French pilot POWs after shooting them down -- plebian mechanic Marechal (Jean Gabin) and nobleman Capt. de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) -- to an elegant lunch before they're taken to prison camp
  • the sequences of digging an escape tunnel
  • the famous musical revue show scene with a performing female impersonator and the gutsy French (and British) prisoners defiantly singing their national anthem - the Marseilles - in front of their German jailers in a one-minute moving frame shot
  • the iconic image of von Rauffenstein as a stiff, uniformed Prussian aristocrat with a neck brace and wearing a monocle - as commandant of Wintersborn, the German's maximum-security camp
  • and the later scene of Boeldieu's fatal self-sacrificing diversion when reluctantly shot by von Rauffenstein (to allow Marechal and Lieutenant Rosenthal (Marcel Dalio), a wealthy French Jew, to escape and take refuge with widowed German farm woman Elsa (Dita Parlo) and ultimately find safety across the border - he shouted: "Don't shoot! They are in Switzerland")
  • the touching deathbed farewell to Boeldieu by the consoling German - and von Rauffenstein's cutting of a flower from his geranium as a poignant, mournful gesture for his friend


The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

In John Ford's seminal film:

  • the film's documentary-like photography of cinematographer Gregg Toland of migrant tenant farmer Okies in the Depression-Era
  • Tom Joad's (Henry Fonda) dramatic meeting with preacher Casy (John Carradine)
  • Muley's (John Qualen) two flashbacks and speeches about losing the land
  • the nostalgic return of Tom to the family homestead from prison
  • the scene of Ma Joad (Oscar-winning Jane Darwell) pausing to moon over and then burn her letters/souvenir-keepsakes (a newspaper clipping, a postcard, a china souvenir, and earrings) in the stove before departing in a dilapidated truck on a long drive for California (including the image of her holding earrings to her ears and viewing herself in a mirror) with the promise of employment
  • the scene of the lunchroom waitress selling candy at reduced half-price to the Joad children
  • fugitive Tom's eloquent farewell to his heartbroken Ma with the words: "...I'll be all around in the dark. I'll be ever'-where - wherever you can look. Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there..."
  • his silhouetted march up a distant hillside
  • Ma's final inspiring words in the front seat of a pickup truck in the conclusion: ("We're the people that live. They can't wipe us out. They can't lick us. And we'll go on forever, Pa... 'cause... we're the people")






Grease (1978)

In Randal Kleiser's quintessential pop musical:

  • the likeable soundtrack ("Grease", "You're the One That I Want", "Greased Lightning", "Hopelessly Devoted to You", and the split-screen "Summer Nights")
  • the dance numbers
  • the late 50s characters - students at Rydell High School:
    - John Travolta as swaggering but limber American greaser Danny Zuko - leader of the leather-jacketed T-Birds,
    - Olivia Newton-John as sweet and virginal Australian transfer student Sandy (until the finale) - Danny's summer lover
    - Stockard Channing as ultra-cool bad-girl Rizzo - leader of the Pink Ladies


The Great Dictator (1940)

In director/actor Charlie Chaplin's political (anti-war) comedy satire (Chaplin's first all-talking feature film):

  • the mock ballet sequence of Hitler look-alike Tomanian dictator Hynkel (Charlie Chaplin) dancing with a balloon - a globe of the earth - a visual, satirical metaphor of the world he hopes to dominate
  • the scene of Jewish barber (Chaplin also) shaving a customer in time to a radio broadcast of Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5
  • the comically-tense scene in which he faces a suicidal mission if he finds a coin in his pudding cake - and his painful consumption of three coins (only to hiccup them out at the last moment, like winnings spit out from a slot machine)
  • the comedic scene of Hynkel and Mussolini-like Napaloni (Jack Oakie) seated adjacent to each other in adjustable barber's chairs as they compete to be higher
  • the final "Look up, Hannah" democracy speech made by the Jewish barber (Chaplin), disguised as Hynkel




The Great Escape (1963)

In this WWII prison-camp escape film from John Sturges:

  • the image of Allied POW loner Captain Virgil "Cooler King" Hilts (Steve McQueen) endlessly bouncing a baseball against a wall into his baseball mitt
  • his exciting attempt to escape from the German prison Stalag Luft North as he (actually stuntman Bud Ekins) vaults a stolen German motorcycle over a six-foot barbed-wire prison fence at the Swiss border

100's of the GREATEST SCENES AND MOMENTS
(alphabetical by film title)

Intro | Quiz | A1 | A2 | A3 | A4 | B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5 | B6 | B7 | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | D1 | D2 | D3 | D4 | E
F1 | F2 | F3 | F4 | G1 | G2 | G3 | G4 | H1 | H2 | H3 | I1 | I2 | I3 | J | K | L1 | L2 | L3 | L4 | M1 | M2 | M3
M4
| M5 | M6 | N1 | N2 | N3 | O1 | O2 | P1 | P2 | P3 | P4 | P5Q | R1 | R2 | R3 | R4
S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | S5 | S6 | S7 | S8 | S9 | T1 | T2 | T3 | T4 | T5 | U | V | W1 | W2 | W3 | W4 | YZ

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